SHANGHAI (Reuters) -China Evergrande Group said its electric vehicle (EV)unit started mass production on Friday of the Hengchi 5 model at a plant in the northern city of Tianjin.
Delivery of the first electric car model unveiled last year by China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd will start in October, Evergrande Group said in a statement.
Evergrande will start mass production of its second EV model in the first half of 2023 and a third one in the latter half of next year, it added.
The EV unit is key for Evergrande, the world's most indebted developer that has been reeling under more than $300 billion worth of liabilities.
Chairman Hui Ka Yan has vowed to shift within 10 years the group's primary business from real estate to the automobile venture, which has itself struggled for capital.
The company previously said it aimed to make 1 million vehicles a year by 2025.
It started taking non-binding pre-orders for the Hengchi 5 sport-utility vehicle priced from 179,000 yuan ($25,531.31) in July after delaying mass production from June to the third quarter.
($1 = 7.0110 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Muralikumar Anantharaman)